Latest post-Ferguson report sounds similar notes | St. Louis Public Radio

Latest post-Ferguson report sounds similar notes

Nov 2, 2015

A statewide group that advises the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the federal government needs to be gathering a lot more information about police tactics in Missouri and across the country.

The brief report summarizes two days of public hearings the Missouri Advisory Committee held last year in Kansas City and St. Louis. Members will have until Jan. 11 to comment on the summary. A full report is due in April.  

Law enforcement officials from St. Louis and the Missouri State Highway Patrol testify at a meeting of the Missouri Advisory Committee on February 23, 2015.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio)

Findings

  1. There isn't enough data gathered about police shootings, or use of force in general, to make any solid recommendations for policy changes.
  2. Implicit racial biases likely lead to minority communities having more negative, contacts with police. But there is very limited training on recognizing implicit bias.
  3. The fragmented nature of municipal governing in St. Louis makes the problem even worse.
  4. Police have become the face of government as cuts are made to other services like mental health
  5. There is a lack of accountability in police culture, and the complaint process is complicated. Misconduct investigations by the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission take a long time.
  6. Policing strategies are implemented haphazardly

Recommendations

  1. The federal government needs to gather additional information on police use-of-force, especially officer-involved shootings.
  2. Congress and the Department of Justice need to study the controversial 1033 program, which provides surplus Department of Defense equipment to police departments.
  3. Create national minimum standards for police departments.
  4. There needs to be an evaluation of the effectiveness of community-oriented policing.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann